Cheese Grits and Pugliese Bread


Good morning everyone! 

Even though it was a cold night, at least it was a stormless one!  We all got some much needed rest.

A Breakfast with Grits

  • Cheese Grits

Saturday morning, Kayla woke up and asked me to fix her cheese grits.  For those of you not from the Southern United States, grits are a breakfast food, consisting of flakes of coarsely ground corn and mixed with boiling water to make a porridge-like substance.  It is, I am told, very like polenta.  I would not know, since I have never been tempted to try polenta given my dislike for grits.  Kayla, however, loves them. 

Unfortunately, there was a problem with her request for grits Saturday:  I have never been able to make grits to her satisfaction, which means up to the culinary standard set by her Grandmas Dottie and Pat.  The last time I tried two years ago, I received enough of a critique from her majesty that I resolved to myself that it would be a very long time before I made grits for her again.  However, after a time lapse of two years, I decided that her home grits probationary period had run, so I was willing to give it another try, with a couple of caveats.  The first was that I wouldn’t make cheese grits since I only had shredded cheese, as opposed to a single slice of American cheese to place on top of the cooked grits, which is the way Kayla insists cheese grits should be made.  The second caveat was that no matter what, Kayla was not to tell me how much better either grandmother’s grits were, or give me continuous suggestions on how said grits should be cooked, since I intended to (strangely enough) follow the package instructions.  I almost had to perform a swearing-in ceremony on the last condition, but she finally agreed. 

She did try hard to comply with both conditions, but she had one or two minor slips.  She started to tell me the grits were too watery when I poured them in the bowl for her  but she quickly bit it back and said,”Never mind.”  Then, once she had possession of the grits, she got up, went to the refrigerator and condescended to put the shredded cheese into her grits after all.  I assume that was because she found some flavor to be lacking.  However, since she never did explain the thought process behind the adding of the cheese, technically she did not violate the “no criticism” rule.  

  • Pugliese Bread

I like bread.  While not exactly a connoisseur, I am interested in different kinds of breads and the variations in flavor and crust that can be attained, so when, on Saturday at Costco, I walked by two loaves in a paper sack labeled “Italian Pugliese Bread,” I thought I would give it a try. 

I have now concluded that “pugliese” must be Italian for “crust that can’t be cut with a chainsaw,” or perhaps “pugnaciously tough crust” since even our best and sharpest bread knife could only saw about halfway through the loaf vertically – and that only with a great deal of effort – after which you had to bend the bread to finish breaking it off.  It was not quite as difficult to cut the bread horizontally, but it still wasn’t easy.  Surprisingly, the bread when heated in the toaster oven with a little butter on it was not too tough to eat, although it was a little chewy.  Still, I am going to learn the Italian words for “soft crust that can be cut” before I try any more novel types of Italian bread!

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

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